23 Dec Perfect Gravlax


Perfect Gravlax

23 December 2019

PREP. TIME: 5 MIN   -   COOK TIME: 24 hours   -   SERVES: 4

What is the trick to perfect gravlax?

Recipe Template

Life does not have to be difficult.  Gravlax is one of those impressive little things that gives maximum impact with minimal effort.  Unbelievably it only takes a few minutes to make.

Allow minimum 24 hours curing time so get cracking!


750g of sashimi grade ocean trout

1 bunch dill

2 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

6 juniper berries.


A large mixing bowl; Chopping board and Kitchen Knife; Measuring Spoons; mortar and pestle; Baking Paper; A tray or platter to hold the fish; A board and weight to sit on top of the fish; Sharp carving knife.


Step 1.

Start with ordering the fish from your trusted fish monger.  Ask for it to be pin boned and the skin left on. Request the flap be removed so that you have an even thickness fillet.  (TIP: Have the skin removed from the flap and freeze the flap to make a fish tartare another time).

Step 2.

Select a large bowl or platter - add 2 tablespoons fine sea salt and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Add the juniper berries and bruise them with a pestle or mudler or the end of a wooden spoon.

Place the fish in the bowl and rub the sugar and salt mixture into all surfaces of the flesh of the fish. Rub into the skin as well.

Step 3.

Roll out  a length of baking paper - 4 times the length of the fish fillet.

Step 4.

Wash and dry the dill.

Arrange half of the dill in the centre of the paper.

Place the fish fillet on top

Cover the fillet with the rest of the dill.

Wrap the fish and dill into a firm package.

Step 5.

Place the package in a narrow dish in which it just fits.  A loaf tin or terrine is ideal.

Fit a weight - such as a small bread board on top of the package. Place a weight on top of this - such as 1 or 2 tins of tomatoes or similar.

Refrigerate for 12 - 18 hours.  Liquid will release from the fillet during this time.  You remove this at the end of the process.

Step 6.

Remove the weight and turn the package. Replace the weight and refrigerate for another 6 - 12 hours.  

Step 7.

Unwrap the package.  Remove and discard the dill and the juniper.  Pat the fish dry on all surfaces.  Arrange on a clean plate - garnish with fresh dill and juniper. 

Step 8.

To serve - carve the gravlax and serve with finely sliced fresh rye bread, freshly made crostini or boiled potatoes and horseradish cream.

What's the trick? As you can see - no tricks - just take your time and stick to the simple steps above.  Surprise yourself!


Recipe by Elizabeth Peddey

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